The coronavirus crisis has exposed and exacerbated existing problems in social care, according to the CQC.
In its annual State of Care report, the regulator said the already fragile social care sector had faced significant challenges around access to PPE, testing and staffing with co-ordinated support less readily available than for the NHS.
The report said the long-standing need for reform, investment and workforce planning in adult social care had been “thrown into stark” relief by the pandemic.
The CQC also called for a new deal for the care workforce, which develops clear career progression, secures the right skills for the sector, better recognises and values staff, invests in their training and supports appropriate professionalisation.
Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, (pictured) said social care should be seen by young people as an “aspirational place of work”.
The CQC said COVID-19 had exposed funding problems in the sector, while staff turnover had increased from 32% in 2014/15 to 39% in 2018/19.
Ian added: “There is an opportunity now for Government, Parliament and health and care leaders to agree and lay out a vision for the future at both a national and local level. Key to this will be tackling longstanding issues in adult social care around funding and operational support, underpinned by a new deal for the care workforce. This needs to happen now – not at some point in the future.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to supporting our health and care services as they respond to the pandemic and continue to provide high quality care for all.
“We’re investing significantly in mental health and expanding primary and community services to give two million more people – including those with learning disabilities and autism – access to vital support that will improve their quality of life.
“We are strengthening urgent and emergency care – including by upgrading A&Es ahead of winter, and we’re delivering on our commitment to build 40 hospitals by 2030.
“The NHS is getting a record cash funding boost through the Long Term Plan, and we are looking at range of proposals to put the social care sector on a sustainable footing for the future.”